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Introduction to Astor’s Graduation Filming Marathon

We were assigned the mammoth task of shooting 21 graduation ceremonies over the course of just 7 days. Our long-term clients the University of Hull recognised the challenge that a job like this presented. And lucky for them, they came to Astor. As you should know by now, we thrive from challenging – yet rewarding projects, especially on a large scale like this.

The brief was to capture and deliver footage for 7 Graduation Highlight videos, over the course of 7 days, with 21 ceremonies in-between… That’s 1 highlight video, every day for 7 days straight. On top of this amazing task, we had a dedicated crew member with the challenge of capturing crisp 4K Vox Pops on the day of the event, and delivering them on the day ready to be played live at each ceremony.

Once we were happy with the arrangement we began preparing equipment and crew for the job. We decided three camera operators would be sufficient for a job like this, with two of us focused on capturing the ceremonies from start to finish, and the other capturing Vox pops of students throughout the day and editing them on-site before each ceremony. We chose to use our high-end production package consisting of RED V Raptor, a camera used on many Netflix shows and Cinema productions. The event was well organised which really helped us to keep to schedule, and the floor plan of the Bonus Arena made movement around the building easy and efficient.

We arrived at the Bonus arena at 8 am every day in order to capture the crowds of family, friends and students flooding into the Bonus arena. Getting there early meant we could capture the build up to the ceremony, capturing things such as the robing process, professional photography, general build-up, excitement for the event etc. We found after the first day this process worked really well, and repeated this order quite strictly for all three ceremonies, each day for the rest of the week.

This meant that everyone was included and represented in the video, just as the client asked. After the first couple of days, the work became second nature, with each ceremony following the exact same structure. This posed new challenges for the team, looking at new ways to develop this project and ways we can make each day better and improve. We looked out for characters that might shake things up a bit, captured different shots and angles that might make the video more unique to the last. In the end what really helped us was getting input from the University team, to see what we might be missing and what they’d love to see more of.

Graduation Videos Reflections

At the end of every day, we offloaded our footage to our server and created a backup of the files before colour grading and sending them off to the editor. This was no small feat by any means and it really tested our ability to work well as a team. Each of us had our own individual roles to play but communication was key in ensuring that everyone knew where they needed to be and when. This ensured that everything went smoothly.

The job was extremely tasking but to see the videos and the engagement that they received made the whole experience very rewarding in the end, and it was an honour and a privilege to attend and have the opportunity to film the graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 and 2022, we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.

Click on the video below to watch our highlight edit.

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